Actor Alec Baldwin said he did not pull the trigger of the gun that fired a live bullet and killed a cinematographer on the set of the movie Rust, according to an excerpt of an upcoming television interview released on Wednesday and quoted by Reuters.
“Well, the trigger wasn’t pulled. I didn’t pull the trigger,” the actor told ABC television journalist George Stephanopoulos, according to the excerpt of the interview, which is to be broadcast on Thursday.
“So you never pulled the trigger?” Stephanopoulos asked.
“No, no, no. I would never point a gun at anyone and pull a trigger at them. Never,” Baldwin replied.
Baldwin also says that he had no idea how a live bullet got onto the set.
According to court records, the movie’s assistant director Dave Halls handed the gun to Baldwin and yelled, "Cold gun," indicating that it was loaded with blanks.
Baldwin then fired, hitting cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in the chest and director Joel Souza in the shoulder. Hutchins later died in hospital of her wounds.
The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department said on Wednesday it had no comment on Baldwin’s statement.
Santa Fe County District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said recently that criminal charges have not been ruled out in the incident.
Carmack-Altwies also said it was incorrect to refer to the firearm used in the incident as a "prop gun."
"It was a legit gun. It was an antique-era appropriate gun," she said.
Carmack-Altwies added an "enormous amount of bullets" had been found on the set and an investigation was needed into the nature of that ammunition.